Wednesday, April 8, 2009

French Toast Casserole

1 loaf Italian bread
8 oz cream cheese
1/2 C sugar, divided
1/2 t vanilla (or almond) extract
1/2 C pecans, optiona
4 eggs
2 C milk
1 t cinnamon (or more!)
2 T melted butter

Cut bread into 1 inch cubes. Place half of the bread cubes in agreased 9 x 13 baking pan. Melt cream cheese (carefully!) in the microwave. Stir several times. This takes about 2 minutes. Stir half the sugar and all of the extract into the cream cheese. Pour the cream cheese mixture over thebread cubes. It will not completely cover them. Sprinkle nuts over the cream cheese layer. (I will be giving the nuts on the side for you to sprinkle on top). Top with remaining bread cubes. Beat together theremaining sugar, eggs, milk, cinnamon, and melted butter. Pour the egg and milkmixture over the bread cubes. Refrigerate overnight to bake the next morning OR slide the pan into a two-gallon freezer bag and freeze. Thaw completely to cook. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until browned. Let sit at room temp for 5 minutes before cutting. Top with syrup or fruit toppings.

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